Bimblebox 153 Birds is currently installed at the Gympie Regional Gallery
from 9 August – 3 September
The official opening was on Saturday 13 August, 2016 and preceding the opening I gave a curators talk about Bimblebox 153 Birds.
Bimblebox 153 Birds fits beautifully into the Hugo du Rietz room at the Gympie Regional Gallery. It is tremendous to see the birds flow throughout the room, encircling all visitors. The intimacy of this gallery enhances the experience of the poetry, prose and musicians bird calls playing into the room.
Everyone in Australia has a relationship with birds. Whether it is through a window or as hair raising as being dive bombed by a magpie. Often we can tell immediately which bird it is by its shape & movement in flight. We live with their calls through each day and night, learning to recognise the sounds for snake, community, feeding, juveniles and territorial song. We tell stories about them, we build relationships with them. Our connections with 153 different species of birds are explored through Bimblebox 153 Birds. What they look like, their movement, their calls and the stories of our relationships with them, our connections are explored by artists, writers and musicians. People respond to Bimblebox 153 Birds and many exclaim how beautiful it is.
And yet Bimblebox 153 Birds exists because we are at risk of losing these birds through habitat destruction. Do we want to live in a world without these birds? Do we want to lose the Bimblebox Nature Refuge to the expansion of thermal coal, especially when we know burning coal threatens our own future?
It was fabulous to be joined by four of the 153 artists who have contributed to Bimblebox 153 birds: Jennifer Rogers, Jennifer Eurell, Neville Field and Cholena Drew-Hughes. Jennifer Rogers and Jennifer Eurell both spoke about their bird prints. Each conveyed to the audience their creative journey from getting to know their bird to the development of their artwork.
One of the 153 contributing writers, Maureen Cooper has been an active and constant support of the Bimblebox Art Project and has a long and close association with the Bimblebox Nature Refuge. This was Maureen’s first experience of Bimblebox 153 Birds and I am pleased to say she loves it!
My talk finished with a reading of Peter Shepherd’s prose about the Wandering Whistling Duck, his words echoing into that moment of silence, the silence extended by his final word: “listen”
Afterwards many people wanted to talk further about the artworks or of Bimblebox and some told their own bird stories. The conversation continued. And the conversation must be spreading because I have been hearing that Bimblebox 153 Birds is having many visitors, many of these visitors travelling distances to be with the birds of Bimblebox.
Bimblebox 153 Birds is a unique installation of artist prints, poetry, prose and musician’s birdcalls. Inspired by the birdlife of the Bimblebox Nature Refuge in Queensland’s Galilee Basin this exhibition brings together the creative contributions of over 440 artists, writers and musicians worldwide. The Bimblebox Nature Refuge is threatened by a massive coal mine.
Curated by Jill Sampson, audio compilation and mixing by Boyd.
Until 3 September @ Gympie Regional Gallery, 39 Nash Street, Gympie, Qld
The Wandering Whistling Duck, Writer Peter Shepherd, Musician Markus Kuchenbuch, flute in C.
Thank you to the artists, writers and musicians who have contributed to Bimblebox 153 Birds.
Here you can view an earlier installation of Bimblebox 153 Birds and listen to some of the poetry and prose.